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Horford wins it for the Hawks
From Elias: Credit Al Horford for the Hawks' 93-92 triumph against the Raptors. Horford made what proved to be the game-winning field-goal on a dunk with 21 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and he preserved the lead by blocking two potential go-ahead field-goal attempts in the final 13 seconds of the game (rejecting shots by Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan). Horford was the first NBA player to block two shots during the final 15 seconds of a one-point victory for his team since Detroit's Ben Wallace did in a 90-89 overtime win at Toronto exactly nine years earlier (January 30, 2004).
Anthony sets single-season Knicks record
From Elias: Carmelo Anthony scored exactly 20 points as the Knicks downed the Magic. It was Anthony's 30th straight game with 20 or more points, which broke the single-season franchise record that he shared with Richie Guerin. Guerin, who scored at least 20 points in each of his last 29 games of the 1961-1962 season, extended his streak to 33 games by beginning the following season with four straight 20-point games. Guerin's 33-game streak, which was snapped in a loss to Bill Russell and the Celtics, still stands as the longest in Knicks history.
Kobe passes Kareem
From Elias: Kobe Bryant's assists continue to be of interest. With his sixth assist on Wednesday night, Bryant increased his career total to 5,661 to supplant Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (5,660) for the most assists among the NBA's five 30,000-point scorers. Michael Jordan finished his career with 5,633 career assists, Karl Malone had 5,248 assists and Wilt Chamberlain recorded 4,643 helpers.
Bledsoe mimics Paul
From Elias: Eric Bledsoe had a game worthy of the man he was replacing as the Clippers topped the Timberwolves in Minnesota. Bledsoe handed out 10 assists and registered six steals on Wednesday night, which is something you would expect from Chris Paul, who has had 17 such games during his NBA career. No other NBA player has had more than four such games (at least 10 assists and six or more steals) since Paul broke into the league in 2005-2006.
Nets can't stop James
From Elias: With 24 points in Miami's victory at Brooklyn, LeBron James became the second player to score at least 20 points in each of 20 consecutive games against the Nets. James is slightly more than halfway to the longest such streak; Michael Jordan scored 20 or more points in 39 straight games against New Jersey from December 1984 through April 1995.
Sharp shooting by Spurs starters
From Elias: Tony Parker made nine of his ten field-goal attempts and San Antonio's starting five combined to make 30 of 44 shots from the floor (68.2 percent) as the Spurs downed the Bobcats. It was the second game this season in which San Antonio's starters combined for a field-goal percentage of 68 percent or higher; they made 26 of 38 shots from the floor (68.4%) against Brooklyn on December 31. All other NBA teams have combined for only one such game this season. Boston's starting five made 68.9% (31-for-45) of their field-goal attempts against Cleveland on December 19.
Pacers extend home winning streak
From Elias: The Pacers' 98-79 win against Detroit was their 12th straight victory at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and they've won all of those games by margins of five or more points. The Pacers hadn't won 12 or more consecutive home games, each by at least a five-point margin, since they won 15 in a row at Indiana in that fashion in 1999-2000. (That was part of a franchise-record 25-game home winning streak.)
Holiday gives and takes
From Elias: Jrue Holiday had a typical 21-point, six-assist performance to lead the 76ers to a 92-84 win against the Wizards, but it was a "give-and-take" night for Holiday, who also had six turnovers and four steals. It was the third game this season in which Holiday turned the ball over six or more times and recorded at least four steals, the most such games for any NBA player.
A great month for the Nuggets
From Elias: The Nuggets defeated Houston and finished the month with a 12-3 record during January. During George Karl's nine seasons as Denver's head coach, the Nuggets won as many as twelve games with three or fewer losses in only two other calendar months. Denver went 12-2 under Karl in March 2005 and 12-3 in January 2010.
Robinson on the mark
From Elias: Nate Robinson made 9 of 11 shots from the floor (81.8%), including two of three from three-point range, as well as going 4-for-4 from the free-throw line to account for his game-high 24 points in the Bulls' victory at Milwaukee. It was only the second game of Robinson's NBA career in which he had nine or more field goals while making at least 80 percent of his field-goal attempts. Robinson went 9-for-10 from the floor for the Knicks (versus Cleveland) on November 13, 2006.
Celtics dominate the second quarter
From Elias: After trailing at the end of the first period, the Celtics outscored the Kings 37-14 in the second stanza before cruising to a 99-81 win at Boston. It was the first time that Boston outscored its opponents by such a large margin (23 or more points) in the second period of a game that it trailed at the end of the first quarter in more than 12 years (since November 28, 2000 at Cleveland) and it was only the second time in the last 52 seasons that the Celtics did that in a home game. Boston's only other home game of that kind from 1961-1962 to date was against the Mavericks on January 6, 1991.
The old and the young
From Elias: Fellow Swedes Daniel Alfredsson and Mika Zibanejad scored power play goals just under two minutes apart in the second period for the Senators as they beat the Canadiens, 5-1. It was the first goal of the season and the 417th career NHL goal for Alfredsson, who turned 40 years old on December 11. The goal scored by Zibanejad was the 19-year-old's first NHL tally. Alfredsson is the first player age 40 or older to score a goal for the Senators, but Zibanejad is the 14th different player to score goals as a teenager for Ottawa in its 20 seasons in the league. Among the other notable teens to score goals for the Senators are Alexei Yashin, Wade Redden, Chris Phillips, Marian Hossa, Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson.
Backstrom wins in relief
From Elias: Niklas Backstrom stopped all 28 shots on goal against him after replacing Minnesota's starting goaltender, Josh Harding, at the 6:45 mark of the first period, and then won the shootout that gave the Wild a 3-2 victory over the Blackhawks. Backstrom's first three career wins in the NHL were recorded in relief (for Minnesota in October/November 2006) but, before Wednesday's relief victory against Chicago, all 159 of his wins since then had come in games he started.